Half Eagle -> 1852-C


  • Half Eagle 1838 - 1861
  • Liberty Head 1839 - 1861
  • Diameter: 22.5 millimeters
  • Fineness: .900
  • Weight: 129 grains
  • Designer: Christian Gobrecht
  • Edge: Reeded
  • Coiner: John R. Bolton

This date has the second highest mintage figure for any Charlotte half eagle. It is one of the more obtainable issues in this series, both in lower grades and in higher grades. The typical specimen is weakly struck at the center of the obverse and on the corresponding portion of the reverse. The rest of the details are sharp. The surfaces, as on nearly all Charlotte half eagles regardless of date, are usually very heavily marked. High grade 1852-C half eagles show excellent luster in either a slightly grainy or a thick, frosty texture. The natural coloration is medium to deep green-gold and some extremely appealing specimens are known. A small hoard of Mint State 1852-C half eagles was discovered in 1986 and this accounts for the majority of the high grade pieces known today. A total of 180-190 are known with approximately 31-33 grading About Uncirculated. Between ten and twelve are currently known in Mint State. This is one of the few Charlotte half eagles which are offered for sale in Mint State with an even slight degree of regularity.

Condition Census

  1. Private collection, ex midwestern dealer, Doug Winter/Lee Minshull inventory, Elrod collection, unknown dealer intermediary or intermediaries, Heritage Rare Coin Galleries, Jeff Garrett, Silvertowne, southern Indiana hoard. Graded MS-64 by PCGS. This and the next were the two best coins from the hoard described above. They were sold to Jeff Garrett by Silvertowne for a reported $35,000 a piece then went to Heritage who resold them.
  2. Private collection, ex Stack's 5/95: 486 (at $38,500), Ed Milas, unknown dealer intermediary or intermediaries, Heritage Rare Coin Galleries, Jeff Garrett, Silvertowne, souther Indiana hoard. Graded MS-64 by NGC. This and coin #1 are virtually identical in terms of quality.
  3. (tie) One or two coins graded MS-63 by PCGS. These probably represent the next tier of coins from the source described above.
  4. Heritage 2/95: 5855. Graded MS-64 by NGC. Probably also originally from the southern Indiana hoard. This coin was earlier owned by Dr. Richard Appel and it was offered for sale in a number of Heritage "Bullet Sales" ca. 1991-1993. Much choicer than coin #5, below.
  5. Heritage Rare Coin Galleries inventory, 1/98, ex Heritage 1998 FUN sale, Lee Minshull/Casey Noxon inventory, Heritage 1995 ANA: 7758. Graded MS-64 by NGC.

Other Mint State examples of which I am aware include the following:

  • Paul Dingler collection, probably ex Bowers and Merena 3/92: 2646. Graded MS-62 by PCGS and the coin illustrated on this web site.
  • New York collection, graded MS-62 by NGC.
  • North Georgia collection, ex Stack's 11/94: 1411. Later graded MS-61 by NGC.
  • A group of approximately three or more specimens have been certified as MS-60 by either PCGS or NGC. A number of these coins are not fully Uncirculated in my opinion.

NOTE: The number of certified Mint State 1852-C half eagles listed in the PCGS and NGC Population Reports are severely inflated due to resubmissions, crossovers and the failure of dealers to return their inserts on previously submitted coins. At the end of 1997, no fewer than 23 Mint State 1852-C half eagles had been recorded (seven at PCGS and sixteen at NGC).